A recent topic that has received much attention are the stigmas that are created around mental disorders and addiction. The judgment and discrimination that people with disorders receive is inexcusable. We would not chastise someone for a physical health condition, yet we hold people completely responsible for their behavior when they have a mental health condition. It is very important that we continue to push for fair treatment of people with disorders and addictions, and the internet is a primary medium for executing this discussion.
By bringing an awareness of disorders and addictions to the internet community, we are able to greatly increase the speed and the breadth of the circulation of ideas on these matters. By using social media and other websites to share ideas and circulate information on addiction and disorders, the word about fair treatment of people who are struggling with these conditions reaches new ears constantly.
These measures create a presence online that is there to defend the addiction and mental disorder community. The internet has, in many ways, come to serve a watchdog function in society, with the jury and judge being all internet users. Any grave injustice that is taken to the internet is received with scorn for the perpetrator and support for the victim. This is also true for addiction and disorders. Now that a strong online presence is aware that sensitivity and understanding is required for cases of addiction and disorder, the online ethic for tolerance of these matters is stronger.
As we continue to reinforce positive treatment for those who are struggling to practice good mental health, we break down the barriers that are creating stigmas around disorders and addictions. Stigmas are responsible for the destruction of fragile minds, and if we do not fight diligently to bring them down, we could risk losing the battle against mental health problems.
The spread of ideas about addiction and mental disorders has unarguably become faster as the internet has become more prominent. People are able to communicate thoughts and information to each other much more quickly than they were able to in the past. Whether they are using a computer, a smartphone or a tablet, the ability to communicate is much more accessible thanks to the internet. People have a different relationship with each piece of digital technology they possess, and the methods with which they use them to communicate vary.
Computers were the original form of digital technology and are still one of the most desirable to use today. A computer may be a stationary desktop model that remains in the home or a portable laptop that travels with its owner. Computers are how modern culture learned to be social and active on the internet. We learned how to form connections, exchange ideas and share information online through the invention of computers, including information on addiction and mental disorders. Other technologies followed shortly that modeled the computer, but nothing can match its memory capabilities and variety of functions.
Phones followed shortly after computers in the demand for digital technology and then became their own phenomenon. Phones are now arguably the method we prefer to use for communication more than any other. Phones have increased the circulation and sharing of information on addiction and mental disorder because now we do not have to wait to get home to our computers before we can explore public information on the matter. The biggest difference between phone time and computer time is that phone information can be accessed on the go where as computers require the proper set up in order to use. Tablets came last and are somewhere between a phone and a computer, giving them many functions of a computer while being nearly as portable as a phone.
The internet can be criticized and praised for its various contributions, but one worthwhile addition it has made to our culture is that it holds people accountable for their actions. How many times have we seen videos go viral of a person doing something they should not have done and the world unites in reprimanding them. We are now constantly aware of smartphones and recording devices being all around us, and we monitor our behavior so that we are not tried by a jury of our internet peers. In a similar sense, we are held accountable for the opinions and actions we make about addiction and mental disorders online.
In recent years, there has been a surge of information made public on the stigmatization of mental disorders and addiction. Awareness has increased greatly on the seriousness of mental health issues and new levels of respect have been achieved on the matter. Therefore, intolerance of mental disorders and addiction online is quickly chastised and reprimanded. We are developing a collective consciousness on mental health that is more ethical than it has been in the past. This is positive in the sense that it promotes tolerance and discourages discrimination.
As quality information on addiction and mental disorders is shared and passed around online, mental health is socially negotiated between groups of people. One of the ways that humanity determines that something is true is through social negotiation: forming collective opinions through public discourse. One of the ways we determine our societal values on addiction and mental disorders is by debating together and challenging one another’s beliefs. It is very common for people to hold incorrect perceptions of addiction and mental disorders as they have been largely misunderstood through out history.
Although the internet is guilty of increasing certain conflicts, when it comes to addiction and mental disorders, the internet has set many misconception straight and circulated a great deal of valuable information.
Since the emergence of the internet, it is suddenly much easier to convey messages to the public. The circulation of ideas moves much more rapidly than it ever has in the past, and the sharing of information can be done with the click of a mouse. This power is often used frivolously for inane propaganda, but it is also frequently used to spread worthwhile ideas. One of these worthwhile ideas is a defense for people with mental disorders. There is a great deal of ignorance on mental disorders still alive and well in our society, and circulating accurate information about mental disorders through the internet could be the key to defeating this ignorance.
The spread of ideas through the internet by means of advanced digital technologies occurs at a rate that would have been unprecedented to past generations. Sharing information on mental disorders, such as the staggering statistics on how many people have them, the fact that they are an illness instead of a character flaw and how they need to be approached with sensitivity and understanding, through computers, phones and tablets has the potential to reduce social stigmas on mental disorders and eradicate intolerance for them.
The internet also has a way of holding people accountable for their words and actions. More and more, intolerance and ignorance of mental illness is being reprimanded in light of how toxic stigmatization and judgment passing is to our society. The internet has become a place of social negotiation, where we can determine what the true nature of mental disorders are by offering one another credible, scientific information on the matter. Public discussion forums online can be used as a tool for calling awareness to mental disorders, and impressing upon society that we all play a responsible role in ending mental disorders. The mere presence of intelligent internet users who are willing to defend mental disorders can mean major progress for mental health in our culture.
For mental disorders that require treatment, the internet is the most important means people have of connecting to a treatment facility in their area. Whether they need a behavioral treatment center Vancouver, an alcohol rehabilitation Pickering or a drug addiction facility Ontario, the internet can guide them to the mental health services they need.